It's Official -- I Need A Break. (For A Very Happy Reason)

For months now, as many of you know, I have been trying various ways to enlist the help of the community so I can keep up with She Writes and get back to my writing, too.  And you have always responded so beautifully, for which I can't thank you enough.  (I'm particularly indebted to our volunteer coordinators, Amber and Monica, and Caitlyn and Erica, the fabulous SW interns this fall.)

But this week, as I launched SheWriMo and then didn't do a damn thing on my new book idea all week, I realized that what I really need is a sabbatical.  A real one.  Like the email-auto-responder kind.  

So for the next four months, I am going down the writerly rabbit hole, as my dear friend and fellow SW founder Deborah Siegel did before me.  I will be SheWriMo-ing for the next four months, but not online.  I finally have a novel idea that is incredibly exciting to me, and I don't want to put it off.  I might lose the creative steam I feel building behind me, and having gone years now without feeling that momentum, I know it's not to be squandered.

With this in mind, I thought I'd turn, for the next four months (till the end of February), to you.  I'm looking for guest-editors for the SW blog from now until then.  BROOKE WARNER and FIONA ROBYN have already volunteered -- and slots may fill fast -- so please, write to me at if you are interested.  Guest-editors will be expected to get one-to-two new posts up six days of the week they are on duty, preferably not just written by themselves (ha).  They are expected to uphold the mission of She Writes: to educate, enlighten and be generous to all, without using the platform solely as a tool for self-promotion.  And that's about it.  Hopefully not much to ask of a dozen or so of you, but something that would be a real game-changer for me.

At one point early in the life of She Writes (just two and a half years ago!), I was invited to speak to a group of novelists in New York about the site.  One writer, who I admire a great deal and is very well-known, promptly raised her hand and said, "Why would I want to be part of a site like that? How will I ever get my writing done?"  

"The whole point of She Writes," I answered, "is that none of us has to carry it alone.  When we need to go write, we can, because when the lonely work is finished and we are ready -- and required -- to be out in the world again, She Writes will be there.  I started it so that none of us has to be on ALL the time.  We take turns nurturing it when we can."  

It's time for me to take my own advice.  Obviously this will be an experiment of sorts, and I hope it works.  But in the meantime, thanks for understanding, and good luck with whatever your heart desires from now until early 2012.  I will be rooting for you to succeed in all your endeavors from now until then, too.

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Comment by Lisa Bertrand on November 11, 2011 at 4:11pm

Will miss you but very excited for you too!

Comment by Emily Lackey on November 9, 2011 at 10:53am

Good for you, Kamy! Best of luck in your writing endeavors.

Comment by Linda Gartz on November 7, 2011 at 11:09am


Thanks for all you've done for "SheWrites. I recently had to take a sabbatical from my writing group for the same reason -- I was spending so much time on support side of writing -- I wasn't getting the writing done. I'm determined to get a rough draft of my memoir out in the next year. Good luck to you. Is there some way we can keep up with your progress?

Comment by Kendra Bonnett on November 7, 2011 at 11:04am


Dear Kamy,

So many things to do, and only so little time in the day...the week...the month...well you get the point. Don't we all know how this is!! It's the persistent problem of the active life, the creative mind and the times in which we live. I'm glad you're taking a sabbatical to be more creative on other fronts. I look forward to seeing the fruits of your "novel idea" as well as your eventual return to She Writes. Here's to your productivity...with a little time off for good behavior.


I will email you offline about the interesting opportunity to serve as a guest editor for a week. Is it a little like being Queen for a Day sans the crown?!? Good luck, Kamy, we look forward to all the new ideas and fresh perspectives with which you'll return.

- Kendra
Comment by Matilda Butler on November 7, 2011 at 10:53am

Hi Kamy:


As a regular reader of SW, I will definitely miss you, but wish you well. I'll follow your writing progress.


See you in March.




Comment by Melody Fuller on November 7, 2011 at 9:35am

Dear Kamy,

I am very new to SW. Thank you for visualizing a beautiful place for us writers to hang out, chat, discuss, agree, disagree and then to go WRITE!

It was great to get such a wonderful and powerful Monday morning message from you.  Your thoughtful words are very affirming to us writers who write.  Thank you for modeling behavior that just might flip the *on* switch for  writers who woke up this morning, with good intentions, but are reading posts and posting instead. So easy to do...

I plan to start more discussions as/when time permits, so I hope I can, in a very small way, help sustain what you built for all of us.  It would be a bonus, while you are on sabatical, for you to check in and let us know your process, discipline, feedback provided on your drafts, and how you address the distractions.  Once a month would be a treat if it works out that way.


Again, thank you!  I am off to slay the dragons (making a midnight deadline--tonight).




Comment by Suzanne Mathis McQueen on November 7, 2011 at 9:26am

Honey Baby, I am so excited for you! And proud. I can't wait to read your novel---your readers await!

My apologies for not being active. My book is finally about to be birthed - that is formatted and all that. It will be 7 years by the time it's actually a book in hand. I don't intend all to take that long at all, but had to get this one right. Once it is out, I plan to be of service to my sister writers, here on the site. 

Thank you for all you've done, and I wish you clear streaming... Love, Suz...your Ashland dancing partner :)

Comment by Patricia Sands on November 7, 2011 at 8:32am
I echo all the other sentiments and look forward to your updates. Write on!
Comment by Judith van Praag on November 7, 2011 at 8:17am

Dear Kamy,

Excellent, still, it's a brave thing to do, leaving your baby in the hands of others, albeit most capable. I'm sure you have addressed this much like finding good caregivers for offspring. You'll be nervous, and peeking around the corner of the kitchen door, pinking away a tear, feeling a little hurt perhaps when you see that things are going fine, and then lose yourself in what's your other, or perhaps earlier passion.

Have a great writing journey!

Wonderful to know we're all in the same boat :-)

Comment by Satya Robyn on November 5, 2011 at 1:24am
Yes, what the others have said - very pleased to see you role-modelling what a writer should find a way of doing... prioritising their writing. NOT easy : ) Looking forward to my guest editing spot and although I'm still new here I know that your members will carry the site in your absence beautifully.


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